Et tu, printer?

When you think about protecting your business from security risks, what comes to mind? Most likely, you're not thinking about your office printers. But you should. 

Printers found in many businesses these days do more than just print. Many of them also scan, copy, fax and receive print jobs through a network connection. Like a computer, printers are equipped with processors, hard drives and operating systems—and are thus susceptible to the same threats that commonly plague PCs. 

Watch out for these threats
There are many different ways your printer might be compromising the security of your business. Here are several threats you should make sure you're defending against: 

Document theft: This is the most obvious threat and applies to all printers. If printed documents are sent to the printer and left there for a period of time, it's very easy for someone to come by and take them, or at least look through them. This is an easy way for sensitive information to fall into the wrong hands.
Defense: Keep office printers in a visible open area instead of in a separate room where they can't be monitored. HP Access Control Secure Pull Printing helps reduce unclaimed prints and increases efficiency. Users can print to a secure network, authenticate with ease, and retrieve jobs when necessary. Another good idea is to designate separate printers for departments that deal with sensitive information.


Are re-manufactured toners really cheaper

Editors Notes:  We get questions regarding the use of re-manufactured toner cartridges all the time.  This article is written by Hewlett Packard specifically about their toner cartridge program and HP's position on re-manufactured toner cartridges.  To be clear, this discussion concerns re-manufactured toner cartridges, not refilled cartridges which we never recommend or sell. The Computing Center does sell certain re-manufactured toner cartridges as well as the full-line of Hewlett Packard and other Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) toners. We are always available to discuss your toner needs and finding the most cost effective ways to manage your printers.

In order to increase their bottom line, many businesses are making an effort to cut down on printing costs. There are several ways to do this, including printing on both sides of the page, printing drafts in draft mode and shrinking your document to fill fewer pages.

Some businesses also choose to purchase remanufactured toner to reduce printing costs. But this could be a mistake—in the long run, refilled or remanufactured cartridges may end up costing more than you think.


HP combines PC & Printer divisions

The Computing Center has been doing business with Hewlett Packard (HP) since 1984.  We began by selling a desktop computer called the HP-150 and shortly thereafter began selling and servicing the first Laserjet which began the printing revolution.   We now sell, service, and support, virtually the entire line of HP network servers, desktop and laptop computer, printers, plotters, switches, and routers. Over the years, HP has greatly expanded its business to become the world’s largest computer company by sales volume.  Not a bad legacy for a couple of engineers who started out in a garage in Palo Alto, CA building audio oscillators and who’s early customer was Walt Disney Studios.

Large companies typically have many divisions and it’s common for each of those divisions to have separate profit and loss financial statements.   HP is no exception.  Many of us in the computer business have gotten used to HPs “alphabet soup” of ESSN, PSG, IPG, EB, etc. and exactly which division handles particular products, services, and programs.  Most of our clients don’t care…they care about getting the right product and services, appropriately designed for their needs.  

This past week, HP announced that PSG and IPG (printers) would be combined into a single division as a way to reduce some of HP’s internal complexity.  From our client’s perspective, there will be virtually no changes.   Inside, HP, the “merger” will allow overhead expenses to be trimmed, a gain operational and manufacturing efficiencies, and hopefully build on the successes inside the printer division.  


Hewlett Packard's recent announcements

A lot has happened since Hewlett Packard (HP) made a number of strategic announcements last Thursday, August 18.  Over the weekend and into Monday, we read dozens of news reports regarding what HP said, what it’s doing, what they are planning on doing.  Additionally we spoke with various HP representatives throughout the company regarding the meaning of the announcements and what the future would hold.  Frankly a lot of what was in the news is speculation and some of it is just plain incorrect.   In this article, we are addressing the hardware side of HP’s announcement.  The Autonomy transaction will not affect most of The Computing Center’s client base.

The Computing Center is an HP Elite small and medium business partner and has done business with them since 1982, before the first HP Laserjet.  Our partnership with HP and our goal with all our vendors is to bring the best in products and services to our clients. So, we’ve sifted through what Hewlett Packard has announced, what’s fact, what’s fiction, and what’s just speculation on the part of so called “experts”.  To the best of our knowledge here’s what’s going on and how it may affect some of our clients:


Printing Tips To Save Money And Energy

reprinted with permission from the HP Small Business Center
It's a common sight in many offices:

Wastebaskets filled to the brim with paper. Look next to any desk or printer, and you're likely to find a stack of misprints, extra copies and other discarded paper waste.

Even with recycling, here are a few things to keep in mind before you send that next job to the printer - and a few tips to keep costs down when you do need to print.

Do you really want to print that?
You should always consider whether what you're about to print really needs to be printed. For example, if you have to share a document with a number of people at a meeting, are there other ways to display it without printing out a copy for everyone? If it's a large meeting, maybe use a projector to display the information, or just display it on a notebook screen at a smaller meeting. You could also save the document to a shared folder and provide everyone with a link, or send it as an email attachment.

Conservation: waste not, want not
If you've decided you absolutely must print a document, there are some ways to reduce the cost and environmental impact. If it's just for casual use, you can print in 'draft' mode and by reusing misprints by printing on the "clean" side of the page. Most important, when you print on both the front and back of each page, that cuts paper usage by 50 percent. You can make this easy by purchasing a printer with a built-in duplexer, and setting the default settings in your driver to "print on both sides".


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